I just realised that the reason why I refused to wear dresses and skirts as an eleven-year-old is because I unconsciously recognised the power that men had over women and associated “male” with “strength” and so I rejected the femininity of a skirt or dress so that I could feel strong and empowered.
The reason I started wearing skirts and dresses again as a fourteen-year-old was because I realised that my sex appeal as a female was the biggest way in which to attract the opposite gender. I used to count the number of times men beeped their car horns at me as I walked along the street. I felt strong and empowered by my sexuality.
Both times my own gender was in fact being undermined. We first recognise that men have the upper hand, and then we are given the illusion of control and liberation by exploiting ourselves sexually for them.